Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 43, Number 2, March-April 2003
Page(s) 155 - 166
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 43 (2003) 155-166
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2003013

Mitochondrial and peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation capacities increase in the skeletal muscles of young pigs during early postnatal development but are not affected by cold stress

Patrick Herpina, Annie Vincenta, Martine Fillauta, Bruno Piteira Bonitoa and Jean-François Hocquetteb

a  Unité Mixte de Recherches sur le Veau et le Porc, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 35590 St-Gilles, France
b  Unité de Recherches sur les Herbivores, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 63122 St-Genès-Champanelle, France

(Received 27 July 2002; accepted 25 January 2003)

In pigs, the optimal utilization of energy substrates within muscle fibers is a prerequisite of the utmost importance for successful adaptation to extra-uterine life. In the present work we demonstrate that fatty acid (FA) oxidative capacities increased within the first five days of life in piglet skeletal muscle. Mitochondrial FA oxidation capacities increased more in the rhomboideus oxidative than in the longissimus lumborum glycolytic muscle (+114% vs. +62%, P < 0.001). The apparent rate of fatty acid degradation by peroxisomes represents 30 to 40% of total FA oxidation capacities and increased by about 170% (P < 0.001) with age in both muscles. The postnatal enhancement of skeletal muscle oxidative capacities was further supported by a rise in acid-soluble and long-chain acylcarnitine tissue levels (+67%, P < 0.01), and plasma levels of albumin (+160%, P < 0.001). Cold stress had no effect on mitochondrial and peroxisomal FA oxidation but greatly enhanced (+61%, P < 0.05) the circulating levels of non-esterified fatty acids at five days of life.

Key words: oxidation / skeletal muscle / piglet / cold / mitochondria / peroxisomes

Correspondence and reprints: Patrick Herpin email:

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2003